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Is Huckabee a Compassionate Conservative? ("Yes" is a generous answer)

Vox Nova is questioning whether their anointed candidate, Southern Baptist pastor (irony of ironies!) Mike Huckabee, is really a "compassionate conservative" in the failed mold of George W. Bush.

I could have saved them some breath and bandwidth by simply telling them the answer (an emphatic "yes," with a cherry on top). However, they apparently wanted the challenge of disproving that notion.

Unfortunately, tying logic into a pretzel was the best that they could do in the attempt.

To wit:
There has been much back slapping in the media and the blogosphere over identifying Mike Huckabee as a “Compassionate Conservative.” In fact a search of his website will find the phrase “Compassionate Conservatism” three times. (Changing to Compassionate Conservative” yields similar results.) In all three instances they are in the comments sections of posts.
So...because he doesn't use a certain term -- which accurately describes his record and platform (if we're being generous to him) -- on his website, it is therefore not applicable? Come on, Alex -- you yourself have used the term "compassionate conservatism" to describe (and to spin) Huck's big-government, nanny-state record; the simple fact that those words are not posted on his official campaign site does nothing to negate their accuracy as descriptors.
It probably doesn’t help matters that “compassionate conservatism” gets blamed for all that is wrong with the Bush administration.
Not all -- not even close. But the expansions of discretionary spending and of government bureaucracies and involvement? Absolutely. So "Huckabee’s own education page actually criticizes 'No Child Left Behind'" -- does that negate the fact that, under the title of Compassionate Conservatism, Bush pushed through (or allowed Congressional Democrats to write/push through) a massive Medicare expansion, among others? Who cares if, as Vox Nova says, "it passed with plenty of support from folks who wouldn’t self-describe themselves as “compassionate conservatives" -- who proposed it, and why?

And then there's the inexplicable attempt to claim that Huckabee the big-government Republican (a la GWB) is actually the anti-Bush, and that the "establishment candidates" have actually been running as a "competent Bush." Um, no -- Bush has been dropped like a hot rock by every candidate on that stage. His domestic policies (and big government ideals) have been as well -- at least, by all but one candidate. Which one? That's right: Mike Huckabee.

By the way, can you get more insulting to your audience's intelligence than to echo Huck's ridiculous mantra and to refer to his opponents as the "establishment candidates," as though he were some noble outsider riding in on a Biblical steed to save the day? Seriously -- please, please explain to me just how it is that a fella who was governor of a state for ten years is *less* of an "establishment candidate" than, say, a career businessman whose only experience in office is four years as a governor, an attorney who spent eight years as mayor of a city, or an actor whose only experience is eight years as a Senator.

Really. Do tell.


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At 4:30 PM, Anonymous M.Z. Forrest said...

The accuracy as a descriptor wasn't really an issue. The accuracy as a pejorative was, a point you have glossed over. In your haste, you largely prove my point by attempting to argue that Huckabee has sought to emulate President Bush's path through non-specific spending increases.

FTR, Vox Nova is a group blog. Alexham is the only one who is formally supporting Huckabee. I haven't formally endorsed him, but I have declared that he and Paul would be the only major party candidates that I'm considering voting for in the general. One other team member has written a tepid endorsement. The rest of the team members are not supporting any specific candidate and vary between leaning Democratic to not voting.

At 12:31 PM, Blogger J.P. Emanuel said...

Ah -- the second sentence of your second paragraph explains plenty.

Now I know that you're not to be taken seriously.




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